Bloodstrike: Brutalists is now in the Previews catalogue!

The first 2 issues have a JUNE release – the 3rd issue drops in July – so tell your Local Comics Shops to order tons of copies!

Issue #0 (Part One) ORDER CODE: APR180490
Issue #23 (Part Two) ORDER CODE: APR180494

Issue #24 (Part Three) ORDER CODE: MAY 180105

While you’re at the store, ask for your copy of COPRA Round 5, out April 4th! ORDER CODE: FEB181164

You can also order it directly from Bergen Street Press.

Don’t forget about ZEGAS, now available directly from Fantagraphics!

"COPRA" "ZEGAS" Comics I Make


The ZEGAS collection, published by Fantagraphics, debuts at SPX this weekend, Sept 16 & 17.

I’ll be signing advance copies at the Fantagraphics table (W56-61) Sat 4 PM & Sun 3 PM.

SPX banner art by Sloane Leong.

ZEGAS will be officially available in stores late November.

Your Local Comic Shop can order it from the Diamond/Previews catalogue, New order code: SEP171622

I’ll mostly be tabling also be at the Bergen Street Press table (W79) with Chuck Forsman & Melissa Mendes all weekend!

Additionally, Copra #31 is officially available, ORDER HERE!

"ZEGAS" Comics I Make

ZEGAS Returns!

ZEGAS is back in print and available again! This is the title that started my self-publishing operation, Copra Press, and set the path for subsequent projects (Deathzone! & Copra). I’m still very proud of these comics and I couldn’t let them remain out of print much longer.


If you’ve never read ZEGAS before, here’s your chance to catch up on all three issues: the ZEGAS PACK. If you’ve managed to get an issue here or an issue there, you can also pick and choose which one you need individually: Issues ONE, TWO, or ZERO!



The print run is still super limited, so get them now while they last!


EXTRA: My contribution to Zainab Akhtar’s Comics Shelfie is up, over at her Comics & Cola blog.

Fiffe Shelfie 0. Main




Zegas #0 is now available! This is the latest edition of short stories featuring the Zegas siblings, Emily & Boston, and by latest I mean that although the Zero Issue contains previously released work via webcomics: “Birthday”, “Cactus” and a couple more extra bits — most of it is presented in print for the very first time.

This early material initially lived online as a temporary solution while I figured out how to get it on to sheets of paper, and how to maybe involve a staple or two. I’m traditional that way, plus I had to feed my love for a page turn. It’s how I designed the stories to be seen, actually, and since they’re no longer available digitally, they can exclusively be read here.


Just like the first two issues, Zegas #0 is a full color magazine-size comic book, 24 pages, signed by yours truly and numbered, limited to 400 copies.

Zegas #0 will be making its official debut at this year’s MoCCA festival in NYC on April 6th & 7th (we’ll be at Table F178but you can place an order now to make sure you get your copy!

For me, it was pretty cool to check in on these characters, albeit more of a revisit. Their stories still rang true, and it got me excited for newer ones. If you’ve read these stories long ago on your monitor, I hope you’ll feel the same. If these are completely new to you, I hope you like ’em, too!



Best of 2012

So the new year has finally come and upon reflection, 2012 wasn’t so bad after all! I’ve been a [micro?] publisher for over a year now and have launched a new title: COPRA. Here’s a brief look back on the recent nods.

Tucker Stone included my comics – CopraZegas & Deathzone! – in his sharp, personal Best Of list for The Comics Journal. Tucker has been more than instrumental in getting me through those first few Copra issues by saving me from comic book cabin fever. Big thanks to Matt Seneca and Abhay Khosla, too.

Comics Alliance braved a massive look back in 5 parts, and Copra made the cut in Part 4 a.k.a. The Hellboy Memorial Awards. Major thanks to Dylan Todd, Chris Sims, Caleb Goellner, and Joseph Hughes for their continued support.

Comic Book Resources had a multi part list of their own, and my comics snuck in there thanks to Timothy Callahan and Sonia Harris. Timothy also  gave us his own Ten Best in his CBR column When Worlds Collide.

I T E M S !

Alec Berry, in his new position at CBR, gave Copra a nice critical write up, which echoed his overview in his podcast, The Chemical Box, co-hosted by Joey Aulisio (Chemical Box contributor Shawn Starr also reviewed Copra).

Jim Rugg and Ian Harker, their respective shout outs were much appreciated. I also spoke to Seth Jacob a little and Terrence Stasse Moreau broke it down, which is really a gross understatement considering all the thought and work behind his posts.

T H A N K S !

To all the new readers who hopped on board this last year! Oh, and Annie Koyama, Zack Soto, Adrian Johnson and Chuck Forsman have been nothing but super cool from the get go.

The biggest thanks go to Kat Roberts, who acts as the Copra Press house editor by proxy and a one-woman army of patience and inspiration.

Last but not least, Bryan Galatis and Erik Mallo have lent their talents to making those fun short video clips every time a new issue comes out. Here’s the latest.

And just for good measure, here’s the trailer for the previous issue, which didn’t grace – no pun intended – this blog all month.

I’m deeply touched and inspired to keep on doing my Copra thing thanks to all your awesome feedback. All you readers have been really great and I’m very excited to keep making comic books for you to read. Here’s to 2013.



Best American Comics 2012 notable: ZEGAS #1

Zegas #1 was listed as a notable in the Best American Comics 2012! The book series is edited by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden with a rotating slot for guest editor every year. This time around, Françoise Mouly did the honors. I’m in fine company, and it’s quite the honor.


ZEGAS #2 Reviewed & In Comic Shops

Zegas #2 made its debut recently… and it’s been reviewed!

Bleeding Cool
Warren Peace

You can also get a copy of both issues at these fine comic shops:

Bergen Street Comics (Brooklyn, NY)
Desert Island (Brooklyn, NY)
Jim Hanley’s Universe (NY,NY)
Book Court (Brooklyn, NY)
Quimby’s Bookstore (Chicago, IL)
Meltdown Comics (Los Angeles, CA)
Comix Experience (San Francisco,CA)
Flying Colors (Concord,CA)
Star Clipper (St. Louis, MA)
Cosmic Monkey Comics (Portland, OR)

Or you can always get it directly from me if you’d like.

We all had a great time at the Stumptown Comics Fest last week. It was too short a visit in Portland, but we hope to visit sooner than later. Here are a bunch of photos from the Fest via Comics Alliance (thx, Caleb!), and here are a couple more for good measure.

Oh, and Zegas is also available at the Multnomah County Library in Oregon! It’s cool to think of those comics being checked out… do so if you’re in the area!

"ZEGAS" Discussion & Analysis

Panel Über Alles

With Zegas #2 out from the printer and into the world, I wanted to take a closer look at the super panel breakdown, which I use all throughout the issue.

You’ll recognize the trick, it’s simply one larger image broken down into pieces OR one larger image with characters moving within it . I wanted to take advantage of a double page spread to choreograph Emily Zegas’ body language  through her several moods and locales. The tricky part was making sure the eye was led exactly where it should go. Turns out the heavy lifting is done by the words, the conversations, the thought balloons. The flow goes down the panel , then up the next, then back down, etc.

You can call these my “Marcos Martin” pages. I won’t deny it, he’s been an influence for a while and I’m sure sequences like this were around at the time I was originally cooking my pages up:

Marcos has made a career of leaving his peers in the dust. He doesn’t toy with a layout, he commands it, and no one in contemporary adventure comics comes close to achieving what he achieves on a regular basis. The scene up there is just one big room in one panel, also used in a double page spread. We follow Spider-Man, our eyes being led to the right then back to the left, punctuated by inset panels.


Another main influence on this approach is Chris Ware, another storytelling master who occasionally uses the panels to reflect different seasons, eras, or time signatures. This Big Tex page does it all.

It’s no secret that Ware had been influenced by Richard McGuire and his seminal story “Here”, from 1989…

… but the real godfather of the page-as-map is Frank King and his Gasoline Alley strip.

[Matt Seneca wrote a great piece on King over at his recently defunct column Your Wednesday Sequence. Seneca also tackled the same Marcos Martin scene I was talking about.]


Going over the overblown staging in these pages reminds me of the smaller examples, the panels that are broken into  fragments in order to delay time, build tension, or reveal story details. In We3, Frank Quitely took a Grant Morrison story and took it into visually innovative territory. This modest sequence, however, is nicely paced.

Was it a callback to Harvey Kurtzman, that scene? I’d like to think so. Kurtzman was a true virtuoso of all of these narrative tics and bumps, his war comics being prime vehicles for strong and smart material. These three panels are works of beauty, captions be damned.

This batch, courtesy of Jim Steranko, works well enough but isn’t quite necessary. The image’s story does progress, and the gutter breaks do make the eye start and stop. Steranko was more than capable of managing subtlety,  and this scene certainly  tries to build up a sense of weight, but it still feels like a faint attempt.

Same here (Steranko again). As if mid-air speech wasn’t hard enough to swallow, the gutter breaks seem to be used as mere window dressing. Maybe it was to show that more… panels had been drawn? Steranko, after all, was once nearly denied payment for writing a silent page. Either way, the balance of dialogue and movement can make or break a moment; this one’s a dud.

Just one more dud. Actually, the panel break would’ve been useful if the image actually revealed something, maybe the very thing that’s being explained. I gotta admit, this is a pretty funny out of context scene, but that may have something to do with those tears. Deluxe Format tears.

Here’s a pretty simple but effective Frank Miller shot…

… and here’s another one that justifies the breakdown treatment in a different way. The gutters stagger the eyes one panel at a time while the monologue unravels at its own pace. It’s confident work, and in Miller’s pre-Sin City comics, this type of rhythm is dominant.

Oh, and punchlines. They’re good reasons to break up a panel. Julie Doucet knows the score.


Back to the page as a setting, Gianni De Luca did some incredible, jaw dropping sequences in his time. As far as I can tell, his work was serialized in Il Giornalino. This il Commissario SPADA page is from 1979…

… but his most revered work continues to be his adaptation of Hamlet. Here’s a two page spread from Amleto, from 1976 (the entire story is made up of double page spreads, with a usual change in location per page turn). Click on it and bask in its glory.

I can’t help but think of this John Romita Jr. two pager, perhaps his most imaginative and ambitious sequence yet… and it’s only a walking figure. Such simplicity!

So there you go, a few drops of inspiration on how to stretch and maximize the real estate within an image, a panel, or a page or two. I’m not sure whether the reader should be made aware of such mechanisms, but some of these pages are too bombastic to ignore or be taken passively.

I should shut my yap. Let the work speak for itself and all that, right? Case in point, click away:


Buy Zegas #2 online or directly from me this upcoming weekend, in case you find yourself in Portland’s own comic-fest Stumptown!


UPDATE: Criminally Left Out

Thanks to Marc Sobel for reminding me of this great scene by Jaime Hernandez. 

I don’t recall Jaime using this method very often but when he does, it is spot on (from Love & Rockets #29, “Flies on the Ceiling“, 1989). Calling him a master storyteller isn’t enough, so let’s just agree that the guy’s a genius. Thanks for the reminder, Marc!


Art & Illustration

You Actually Can Dance To John Zorn (4 drawings & a shirt)

First thing’s first: Zegas Number Two finally came back from the printer this week! It’s kinda difficult to contain my excitement! It looks great, and I’m really happy at how it turned out. Place your order over at our Etsy store. For more online consumption, I also made two prints to go along with the comics, as well as a shirt… A SHIRT.

I got to draw some commissions, too, as a result of the Zegas crowd-funding that ran a couple of months ago. Here’s my version of KOYAMA

…JUNO for Alison Sampson’s ever growing collection

…and a Paul Smith-era Storm (couldn’t help but include the rest of the team).

In the spirit of sharing, he’s a pin up I did for Paul Maybury’s D.O.G.S. of Mars (out May 2nd!)

I have to be honest, receiving Zegas #2 was cool and all, as was drawing stuff for people, but sometimes you need something more out of life. Well, I recently conceived that something and it wasn’t exactly a happy accident (I thought to combine two things – a video & a song – in order to amuse myself). I wasn’t prepared, however, to see how truly perfect they were when combined (danke, BG).

Don’t let me cheapen it more by trying to explain it.

” A lot of my life has been reacting against those fucking assholes that say ‘you could do much better.’ … Go fuck yourselves. This is who I am, this is the best I can do and if you don’t like it, drop dead.” –John Zorn

That about sums it up for now. I’ll post some Zegas preview pages soon, as well as different type of “process” post.




It’s finally DONE! After 30 days of biting my nails, the results came in. Y’see, for the month of January, I set up a crowd funding campaign via RocketHub to help make ZEGAS #2 happen. Just a few hours ago it was finalized: we raised enough money to help print up more copies than I projected… and YOU are responsible! I knew we’d pull through. I had faith in us.

Major thanks to every single one of you who donated. You absolutely made this thing happen, and your interest in my stuff is not something I take for granted. Seriously, thank you.

Those of you that went out of your way to mention and support the project deserve a shout out. As do the hosts of comics podcast Hideous Energy (as well as Super Cute co-creators), who went above and beyond in reviewing ZEGAS #1 and promoting the funding of #2. Listen to it here. Hell, try it here, too.

Alec Berry ran a conversation he and I typed one afternoon. I went off on a few rants but Alec was kind enough to nix the worst of it. If it doesn’t involve Jim Aparo, I probably shouldn’t talk about it to begin with. File under Interview over at Spandexless.

RocketHub’s own blog featured a brief interview with me as well.

Other nods: MTV Geek mentioned the project early on. ZEGAS #2 news caught fire and spread over to Death To The Universe & The Comics Reporter & The Comics Beat.

I can’t express my gratitude enough to those that linked, liked, poked, retweeted, mentioned, and basically spread the word. It was a fine line for me to dance across for a month, genuinely reaching out to folks while trying not to oversaturate my presence. But you couldn’t play it too cool for school, boy, because the plea had already been put out there. It was all simple, direct, and based on appreciation from both sides of the tin cup and I’m quite glad I did it.

The comic will be off to the printer in a matter of days and I cannot wait for you to see it.

Oh, and here’s the video I helped make for the fundraiser campaign. Moses T. Krikey put it all together into a slickly edited web commercial while Erik Mallo should be held responsible for the music.


This Spring!

Look for it!